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ORAU Board welcomes six new directors

April 17, 2012

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—The Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ (ORAU) Council of Sponsoring Institutions announced the election of six new members to the Board of Directors at the group’s 67th annual meeting held recently in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The board provides policy and fiduciary oversight of ORAU operations for its membership.

Sponsoring positions:

  • Dr. Dale E. Klein, University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. John M. Mason, Auburn University
  • Dr. Berndt O. Mueller, Duke University
  • Dr. Paul E. Sokol, Indiana University

At-Large positions:

  • Dr. Diane G. Schmidt, The Procter & Gamble Company
  • Theodore (Ted) D. Sherry, NNSA, retired


  • Dr. Felix Okojie
  • Alice Astafan

“These new directors bring a wealth of administrative, academic and research leadership to the ORAU Board of Directors,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “Their knowledge and experience will be a strong complement to this multi-disciplinary team as we continue to work together to meet our strategic objectives over the coming years.”

Dale. E. Klein, Ph.D.Dale. E. Klein, Ph.D.
Klein received B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Klein rejoined the University of Texas system in January 2011 as associate vice chancellor for research in the Office of Academic Affairs. In April of 2010, after serving almost 8.5 years as a Presidential appointee, Klein returned to Texas from Washington, D.C., to work at the University of Texas at Austin as the associate director of The Energy Institute, as an associate vice president for research, and as a professor of mechanical engineering in the university’s program.

“Having worked with ORAU in the past, I look forward to working again with a great organization and its member universities,” said Klein.

Dr. John M. Mason Dr. John M. Mason
Mason earned a B.S. and M.S. degrees in transportation from Pennsylvania State and Villanova University. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University. Mason subsequently became a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania.

Mason is responsible for research program development, sponsored programs, and technology transfer and commercialization. As vice president, he serves on the president’s cabinet and provides leadership for strategic planning for the university’s research enterprise. He also serves as associate provost, and he serves as the president’s appointee to the University Promotion and Tenure Committee and University Senate. Additionally, Mason is the president of the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation. His duties for the foundation include research budget responsibility, personnel, federal compliance, economic development and federal legislative research-related initiatives.

“I am pleased to learn of my election to the ORAU Board of Directors,” said Mason. “The support and confidence of the ORAU members are very much appreciated. I look forward to actively serving the membership and continuing to build effective programs among the participating organizations.”

Berndt O. Mueller, Ph.D.Berndt O. Mueller, Ph.D.
Mueller received his Theoretical Physics Degree and Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Goethe University.

Mueller joined the Physics Department of Duke University in 1990 and has served in numerous roles, including chair of the Physics Department and dean of natural sciences. Mueller’s work focuses on nuclear matter at extreme energy density. Before joining the staff at Duke, Dr. Meuller was an associate professor at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany and a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, and a Research Associate at the University of Washington.

“I am truly honored by my election to the ORAU Board of Directors,” said Mueller. “More than a decade of involvement with ORNL as liaison of a core university in the UT-Battelle management team has led me to develop a deep appreciation of the important role of the laboratory within the national scientific and technological infrastructure. I am looking forward to continue to support this mission as a member of the ORAU Board of Directors.”

Dr. Paul SokolDr. Paul Sokol
Sokol received his B.S. in Physics at State University of Buffalo and his Ph.D. in physics from The Ohio State University. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and has received the Milton S. Eisenhower Award of Distinguished Teaching.

Sokol has been a member of the Indiana University faculty since 2004, serving the university in numerous leadership roles including: director of the IU Cyclotron Facility (2004-07) and of the Low Energy Neutron Source and special advisor for physical sciences to the vice provost for research. Sokol was instrumental in creating collaborative partnerships both nationally (Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, Missile Defense Agency), and internationally (Tsinghua University), strengthening research in accelerator physics, material science, nuclear physics and neutron physics. Sokol has worked with colleagues from multiple disciplines to enhance IU’s research and to establish scientific partnerships with other universities, federal agencies and industry leaders.

“I am honored to have the opportunity of working with the outstanding and diverse set of institutions that form the Oak Ridge Associated Universities,” said Sokol. “ORAU’s focus on national priorities and building partnerships has made a great impact, and I look forward to working with the board in the future to continue this tradition.”

Dr. Diane G. SchmidtDr. Diane G. Schmidt
Schmidt earned an A.B. in chemistry from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and a M.S. in organic chemistry from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, and her post doctoral studies include the Procter and Gamble Fellowship.

Schmidt currently has management responsibility for more than 2,000 employees at P&G, including the Beauty & Grooming Global Business Unit R&D, a unit with $7.5 billion in annual sales. Schmidt has site responsibilities for the Sharon Woods Innovation Center in the areas of health safety and environment and industry hygiene and safety. Early in her career, she worked for five years at Y-12, within the DOE Oak Ridge Complex, as a research chemist in the Nucleic Acid Chemistry Group at ORNL, where she employed radionuclides.

“It is an honor to have been elected to the ORAU Board of Directors,” said Schmidt. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve in the continuing tradition of excellence of the member institutions to help build strategic connections to foster our nation’s competitiveness. I am pleased to work for the continued advancement of ORAU, especially since I began my professional career in the Nucleic Acid Chemistry Group of the Biology Division at Y-12.”

Theodore D. (Ted) SherryTheodore D. (Ted) Sherry
Sherry received his B.S. in electrical engineering from West Virginia University, and his M.S. degree in business administration from the University of Maryland. He became a certified engineer for naval nuclear propulsion plants, U.S. Navy.

Sherry is the Director of the Advanced Program in the Global Security Directorate of ORNL. Sherry recently retired as the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) federal site manager at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Most recently, Mr. Sherry was responsible for all aspects of the DOE-NNSA Y-12 National Security Complex mission. During his six years at Y-12, Sherry directed and provided oversight for programs including operations, information technology and emergency management.

“I am honored to be selected as a member of ORAU Board of Directors,” said Sherry. “I look forward to working with the other board members and leaders of ORAU to advance the important work of ORAU in enhancing the scientific research and education enterprise of our nation.”

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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